Former FBI Director James Comey told lawmakers in a closed hearing on Thursday that Attorney General Jeff Sessions may have held a third previously undisclosed meeting with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the 2016 presidential race, CNN reported.
The information is based in part on Russian-to-Russian intercepts where the meeting was discussed, three sources familiar with the information told CNN.
“But the sources said it is possible the ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, was exaggerating the extent of the encounter.
CNN previously reported exclusively that Congressional investigators are examining whether Sessions had an additional private meeting with Russia’s ambassador during the presidential campaign, according to Republican and Democratic Hill sources and intelligence officials briefed on the investigation.
The investigators were focusing on whether such a meeting took place April 27, 2016, at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC, where then-candidate Donald Trump was delivering his first major foreign policy address.”
In response to that report, the Justice Department said there was no meeting at the Mayflower.
“The facts haven’t changed; the then-Senator did not have any private or side conversations with any Russian officials at the Mayflower Hotel,” Department of Justice spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores said.
The FBI, Comey said during the public portion of the hearing, expected Sessions to recuse himself, because of factors “that would make his continued involvement in a Russia investigation problematic,” though he declined to say publicly what those factors were.